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Highly Commended Artists: RBSA Friends 2021

Congratulations to the six artists who have been highly commended for their work in the RBSA Friends 2021 exhibition. The RBSA would like to thank all artists who entered work.

You can see the exhibition online and in the RBSA Gallery until 3 July 2021.

Jan Brewerton

My work has its origins in domesticity. It’s rituals and customs. Finding the extraordinary in the ordinary.

It has been such a privilege to be part of the Friends Exhibition. Having recently returned to the midlands after years away, and again being part of a ‘real’ exhibition, I feel like I’ve really come ‘home’.

See more of Jan Brewerton’s work:

Instagram: @janbrewerton1

Jan Brewerton (L-R) Tea Table, Marimekko’s Honesty

Andrew Barrowman

Plein air sketches formed the basis to my work in the Friends exhibition. I know the landscapes very well and have spent many hours sketching in the field.

The exhibited work was developed using charcoal. I begin with rapid, random mark making before refining and ‘hunting’ for shapes that have often formed by themselves. Then it is scraped back, rubbed out and re-applied until I feel it is completed.

Being part of the RBSA Friends exhibition for me is amazing. Exhibiting alongside talented artists is always a thrill especially when it is in such a respected Gallery and Art Society.

It’s very special to me as I have a close affinity to Birmingham being from neighbouring Warwickshire.

One day I hope to apply to become an Associate member and exhibiting with fellow Friends is a great way to get to know other like minded artists and their work.

See more of Andrew Barroman’s work:


Instagram: @andrew.barrowman

Twitter: ,@barrowmanartist

Facebook: ,Andrew Barrowman Art

Leavon Bowman

My aim and goal in creating is to capture the subject in its raw, natural state allowing the viewer to find their relationship with emotions that it creates. The expression of these conceived in the heart and mind; that is my art.

Exhibiting with RBSA gives me more exposure. It provides a welcoming, friendly and artistic environment with the opportunity to meet other talented artists.

See more of Leavon Bowman’s work:


Instagram: @leavon_art

Lawrence Green

It’s a huge privilege to be able to see my work in the RBSA Friends Exhibition alongside that of other like-minded people. It gives me a feeling of belonging to a community that has sometimes been hard to come by recently.

The building is an unusual subject for me as I prefer mountain and coastal landscapes, although buildings are not so very different; I always want to demonstrate the form of the subject using strong directional light.

I happened to be walking through the college with my camera when I noticed the honey-coloured sandstone glowing in the light of the low winter sun so I rushed to the top of one of the adjacent buildings for a better angle to capture it from.

Linda Barlow

Both these pieces were made in response to a month long residency on Shetland in November 2020. I wanted to convey the bleak beauty both of the environment, and also of the lockdown situation. It was a strange, almost ethereal experience.

I feel proud to be part of the Friends Exhibition. It’s great that the gallery is open again and I look forward to a time when the Friends can meet socially.

See more of Linda Barlow’s work:


Instagram: @barlow_linda

David McGuire

To me, being a part of the Friends exhibition is a platform to show my work alongside the work of a body of very talented fellow artists. Although diverse in subject matter, we all share the same common goal of working to produce the very best in us.

My pieces reflect my love of still life. Palimpsest #2 is an arrangement of ornaments at home that after cleaning are moved into different spaces, and the drawing reflects the changes in time by these elements occupying their new positions.

Transformation is about the natural and the man-made. Figs develop naturally into full body and colour, whereas man-made objects have to be planned and developed, and this is depicted by the technical drawing.

The annual RBSA Friends Exhibition provides a platform for Friends at different stages of their practice to display artwork.

See over 180 works by 122 artists, representing all media, in the gallery and

1 June – 3 July 2021.

About Us

The Royal Birmingham Society of Artists (RBSA) is an artist-led charity which supports artists and promotes engagement with the visual arts through a range of exhibitions, events and workshops.

The RBSA runs an exhibition venue, the RBSA Gallery, in Birmingham’s historic Jewellery Quarter, a short walk from the city centre.

We are open 10.30am – 5pm on Tuesday – Saturday.

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